Consent

The Gawkadal Bridge stands witness to Paradise lost
The cold silver of Jhelum drapes the bodies of her brave children;
Where is consent of the governed in this land?
Where is political participation in the world’s largest democracy?

Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast (1)

A lost generation sings:

I can withstand injustice — 
Understand it to seek Truth,
But I abhor the depravity of violence

I can withstand pain as long as it makes sense;
It is senseless suffering that I fear

I can withstand the djinns of anger, 
As long as there is growth

I fear an impotent rage

1. A Persian couplet uttered in reference to the staggering beauty of Kashmir by the iconic Sufi poet Amir Khusrau. It means:

If there is paradise on earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this.

To the victims of Gawkadal massacre (20/1/1990), in memoriam
(Photograph by Vivek Menezes)

by Megha Arora

         by Fallujah.


halluci nation

asphyxiated by prejudice chains

annihilated by nationalist art

lynched for the love of territory

a rave of violence, routine

us versus them

where roses appear savage

where waves glisten in blood

where the sun makes love

to the bay of Haifa

(us versus them)

now our genetic code

in the land that once knew peace

the river of red howls, unfettered

O ignorant one! When we die,
It will be proven to us:
A dream was what we have seen,
And what we have heard, was a tale. (1)

  1. By Mir Dard.

To the victims of the Haifa Oil Refinery Massacre (30/12/1947), in memoriam.

By Megha Arora 

     by Fallujah.